Erica joined the firm in June 2013 to take charge of our Public law team. Over the years she has accumulated a wealth of experience in Judicial Review work in numerous different fields including asylum, immigration, asylum support, mental health, health and community care and prison law. Erica has dealt with complex cases at the higher levels including Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Erica develops a great rapport with her clients, and is extremely passionate about her work. She always strives for the best outcome possible for her clients through her hard work and dedication.
The department has a public law contract with the Legal Aid Agency and are therefore able to offer legal aid to those who are eligible.
Prior to joining Ison Harrison in 2013, Erica was involved in a number of high profile cases including that of James v UK ECHR 340 (2012) which concerned the rights of IPP prisoners who had served the mandatory part of their sentence but remained detained indefinitely due to the insufficient provision of rehabilitative coursework by the prison service. The claims failed in the domestic courts, with the House of Lords ultimately rejecting the claim, but subsequently succeeded in the European Court of Human Rights. The Court unanimously held that the state’s failure in relation to IPP prisoners resulted in their arbitrary detention contrary to Article 5 ECHR.
As a result of her involvement in the James case, Erica was awarded ‘Lawyer of the Week’ by the Times and ‘Lawyer in the News’ in the Law Gazette in 2007.
Erica was also involved in representing one of the appellants in EM (Eritrea) & Others v SSHD  UKSC 12, a claim for judicial review which concerned the circumstances in which an asylum seeker could be returned under the Dublin II Treaty to the first European country they entered, in this case Italy, in order to pursue their asylum claim there. The legal question posed in that case was when would return under the Dublin II Treaty constitute a breach of an individual’s rights under Article 3 ECHR due to the nature of the reception conditions in the receiving country? The claim was ultimately successful after concluding in the Supreme Court. It also set down the legal test regarding the application of
Article 3 in cases of removal to countries deemed ‘safe’ under the Dublin II Treaty.
More recently and whilst at Ison Harrison, Erica acted for a client in the judicial review test case of R (on the application of AT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2589 (Admin) challenging a decision by the Home Office to remove the statutory right of appeal for domestic violence victims refused leave to remain. The Court made it clear that those cases which raised human rights arguments were entitled to a right of appeal. It further gave guidance upon how the application process in these types of case should be reformed by finding, contrary to the Home Office’s argument, that domestic violence applicants should be able to raise human rights arguments in the SET(DV) form used for such claims rather than be expected to complete 2 separate application forms and pay 2 separate fees.